Recent data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical bureau, shows that out of all the countries in Europe, start-ups have the best ‘survival rates’ in Belgium, and Flanders as a region. No less than 62 percent of the 36,200 independents and start-ups that launched a business in 2009 have now been active for more than 5 years. “Entrepreneurs in Belgium tend to be more careful before starting up a company,” explains Sven De Cleyn, director of incubator iStart of research institute imec.
Belgium used to have fewer start-ups than other European countries, but times are changing, according to De Cleyn: “In recent years, we’ve certainly caught up on our neighboring countries. We offer more coaching and support, and we’ve introduced stimulating measures, such as the tax shelter for investments in start-ups.”
With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.